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He Wanted to Cash His Discrimination Settlement Check: The Bank Called the Cops




by G. Brown

Lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place.  Seems lightning never met Sauntore Thomas of Detroit.  The 44-year-old man went into his bank to cash checks he had just won in a long discrimination case.  The Air Force veteran soon discovered he had won a battle but his war against discrimination might not be over.

Thomas says the Bank refused to deposit his settlement check and eventually called police to investigate him for fraud.  Thomas says, “I didn’t deserve treatment like that when I knew that the check was not fraudulent, I’m a United States veteran. I have an honorable discharge from the Air Force. They discriminated against me because I’m black. None of this would have happened if I were white.

The bank, TCF branch in Livonia, says the refusal had nothing to do with Thomas’ color. TCF officials say they were taking “extra precautions” because of the large amount of the checks Thomas was trying to deposit and withdraw. TCF apologized to Thomas and corporate officials say the police should not have been called.

So now, the man who couldn’t cash his discrimination lawsuit checks is filing a new discrimination lawsuit against the bank that wouldn’t deposit his discrimination settlement checks.

The odds of Thomas winning are slim…but those are the same odds he faced suing his employer.  According to, “Each year, the EEOC and its state and local partner agencies close more than 100,000 cases–but workers receive some form of assistance, such as money or a change in work conditions, only 18 percenter of the time.”  TRN isn’t sure who Thomas works for or what caused him to file the discrimination complaint, but it’s a small miracle he walked away with anything the first time.

Some people may criticize him for suing another institution so quickly, but if you’ve ever been discriminated against even once, you get it. Even though few cases are settled in the favor of employees who sue, that doesn’t mean job discrimination isn’t rampant.  The Vox article says prior to 2017, EEOC didn’t have enough employees to properly handle claims.  Even worse, finding discrimination would take longer to close the case and that in part leads to finding no problem just to get on to the next case.

It’s a pretty shoddy deal, especially for anybody being rejected or mistreated on the job because of their race, gender or age.  So when somebody like Thomas wins, it’s hard not to cheer him on and hope lightning makes an exception and perhaps strikes twice.


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